I run the Spar shop in the village of Dolwyddelan, we are a small community and the businesses in the village survive on the tourist trade. We have a shop, a hotel and a pub but if any one of us were to close, it would tear the heart out of the place.
Our Post Office closed and was replaced by an outreach service. The village pub, which has struggled under brewery ownership, was on the brink of closure. Luckily for the village, at the last minute a local builder stepped in and bought it, and will continue to run it as a pub.
If the new Community Right To Buy policy had been in place, the current bureaucratic nightmare involved in starting community projects would have been eased. This would have made it much simpler for a local group to take over and save part of the heart of this community.
In our village we are fortunate because local entrepreneurs have been able to save local assets, many other villages are not as lucky. They will, after being strangled by miles of red tape, eventually see their communities eroded and become merely somewhere that people sleep.
The Community Right To Buy will allow local people to run their own local areas as they see fit – keeping the heart of a neighbourhood alive and vibrant.
Mike Skerrett appears in the Conservative Party’s latest Party Political Broadcast – watch it online here